[Continued from here].
Captain Liberty was having trouble with the door, only pulling it off of one hinge before his injury flared up and mades him pause.
One of the three guards at the south end of the room fled back towards the front door when faced with a charging bear and a man who could rip doors half off their hinges. But the two bigger guards were tough-looking bruisers with crewcuts, scars, and big truncheons in their hands and they stood and waited to receive the charge. The Daoist was forced to pull back from his charge as they swung their clubs and concentrated on him. While the Daoist dodged one, he took a blow from the other and felt weak and dizzy from the hit.
From above, a shooter on the balcony takes a potshot at the Mountain Man and only puts a hole in a nearby pew.
Meanwhile, in the concealed room, Dr. McDermott continued to swing his cane around impotently. When the metal tip at the end hit metal, Silver Scorpion saw sparks fly. Then she saw an opening, turned her knife around, and used the pommel to pop the Doctor in the face. He went down and his sparking cane clattered to the floor beside him.
Also meanwhile, Agent Malefor pushed past the guard in the stairwell and descended to the basement level, with the sound of "Watch where you're going!" and a few words that would make a gentleman blush directed at his backside. Knowing the route to the prison cells awfully well, he made good time and had almost reached the cells already.
Also also meanwhile, Tommy finally managed to untangle his legs from the last of his bonds and was free to act.
Back in the secret room, Silver Scorpion snatched up Dr. McDermott's cane to keep as a trophy. Then she moved to the surrounding machinery and began flipping switches, turning dials, and throwing toggles randomly for a few seconds, hoping to create a bit of chaos. Finally, she pulled off the Doctor's lab coat and cut strips from it with her knife for binding and gagging.
Back in the nave of the temple, the Mountain Man hefted his hatchet, took aim, and threw it at the mobster above him on the balcony. The Daoist continued his assault on the mobsters, hoping that help would arrive for him soon, or that the bad guys would decide to flee rather than fight a wild beast.
Because of Silver Scorpion’s fiddling, the lights clicked on and off and spotlights from above turned on and started swiveling around the room. Out of nowhere, everyone heard the sounds of baritone men chanting, followed by a heavenly choir of sopranos, and then roosters clucking over them.
In this chaos, the Mountain Man almost gots the drop on the gunman at the balcony, but the mobster had jumped back just in time and the hatchet buried into the wooden balcony rail instead.
Two more men appeared at the balcony above.
Captain Liberty was about to pull the door off its last hinge when he noticed the light display about the room. Something about the flashing lights reminded him of the Man in the Black Cloak and made him hesitate.
In bear form still, the Daoist swiped at the two mobsters, hitting one of them but not hurting him too badly.
The mobster who dodged the Mountain Man's hatchet returned fire, this time spraying bullets down into the chapel despite the presence of his fallen comrade on the floor. The Mountain Man managed to dodge them at first, but one bullet winged him and left him with a pretty bad wound.
The Daoist found, to his dismay, that the bruisers in front of him had no qualms with taking on a bear with just clubs in their hands. Also unfortunately, they seemed to be winning, as one of them landed another solid blow. The Daoist saw the room spinning before he went down.
Worse, another mobster stepped out of the room they came from, where they had left Willy tied up.
Meanwhile, Agent Malefor has reached the guardroom down below. The guardroom was lit by a table lamp. No one was home, but on a table were some weapons, a rat mask, and a smelly, fur-lined wetsuit. Looking further, he found his bulletproof vest and automatic pistol in one of two footlockers. Agent Malefor picked up the bulletproof vest and put it on, before he grabbed the gun. He was still dressed in the guard’s clothes over his vest. Now it was time to go look around the cells for his comrades…
Also meanwhile, Tommy stood up and tried to decide what to do next.
Back in the chapel, the Mountain Man charged for the beams supporting the balcony on which the mobsters with guns were standing. He slammed his fists into it, hoping to bring it down.
In the secret room, Silver Scorpion was making mincemeat out of Dr. McDermott's lab coat when a black case fell out of one of his pockets. After Dr. McDermott was well trussed, she examined the black case, placing it on a flat surface and opening to determine its contents.
Capt. Liberty gave the door one last heave and tore it free. He rushed the three mobsters standing over the Daoist, who had resumed his true form, holding the door like a battering ram. "Foul traitors! What foul hearts you must have to betray law and order!" Captain Liberty shouted.
The Mountain Man started punching the wooden beam closest to him. Though it didn’t break through, it began to splinter with a loud crack.
"They've all got magic!" one of the guards who took down the Daoist cried as he looked around. Apparently, these observations were having a cumulative effect on the mobsters who had beaten down a man changed into a bear. When the twirling spotlights left in motion by Silver Scorpion momentarily blinded the two burliest guards at the south end of the chapel and they lost it. "Nooo! The rooster god must be angry!" the other one cried out.
"You've all lost your balls, ya bunch o' girls!" the mobster by them said with a drunken slur. "I'll show you how to deal with magic!" he exclaimed as he pulled out a pistol and took a shot at the charging Capt. Liberty, but did not come close to hitting.
The mobster on the west balcony kept his cool too and tried to spray bullets the Mountain Man's way, grazing him with one slug.
Meanwhile, Agent Rudy Malefor was distressed to learn that the four jail cells on the lower level were all empty. There was no sign of his two fellow G-Men. Resolved to do what he still could to help, he ran back down the hallways to the stairs and climbed them two at a time to return to the gallery. At the gallery, he ran into the mobster he had passed in the stairwell earlier, now just standing there. No, hiding there from the sounds of battle raging on the other side of the far door. Rudy could not stand the sight of such a cowardly, superstitious criminal and pistol whipped the man hard enough to take him down.
Also meanwhile, Tommy still had not decided what to do next.
Above, the Mountain Man wrecked on that support beam like a mountain landslide, plowed through it, and charged half-through the next beam over. The balcony above buckled, tipped, and sent the two mobsters atop it plunging over the railing onto the pews below. The pews broke under the impact and, apparently, so did the mobsters.
Black Cat by Steve Rude
8 hours ago